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, senate majority caucus, and rising leaders such as senator marco rubio, and other key decision-makers, pushing for action to the fiscal cliff. during those meetings we made it known that cities have already led on deficit reduction. mayors know how to balance budgets. [applause] we do it every day. we do it every year. through this recession we made the tough decisions that washington has been unwilling to make. while we also maintained key investments that strengthened our metro economies. we have suffered dramatic cuts from washington. we have seen the community development block grant drastically reduced. we have sacrificed for the greater good, and we made it known now that washington must do its job without simply passing the buck down to america's cities and local taxpayers. [applause] we face a very serious threat to one of our historic tools that we use for investing in infrastructure, tax-exempt financing. we had not acted, we would've seen the erosion of this most asic federal local partnership. up to new year's day, mayors were actively fighting for a budget deal tha
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